Outmatched out West
Lacrosse team downed at No. 5 Michigan State
The men’s lacrosse team fell 12-3 against No. 5 Michigan State on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. Yusong Shi, The Spectrum
The men's lacrosse team took an early 2-1 lead in its game against No. 5 Michigan State (7-2, 3-0 Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association), only to watch its momentary lead evaporate as the team was outscored 11-1 the remainder of the contest.
The Bulls (4-2) ended a six-game road trip with a 12-3 loss to Michigan State Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. The Spartans responded to Buffalo's 2-1 lead with five unanswered goals before the end of the first half to aid their blowout victory.
Buffalo's lack of possession proved problematic; the Bulls possessed the ball for only 10 of 60 minutes of play, according to head coach Ryan Crawford.
"They wore us down with constant possession and pressure," Crawford said. "We had opportunities to hang in the game, but [the Spartans] made our defense play for long stretches. In the second half, we were tired."
Buffalo had several opportunities early in the contest to keep the game close, but Spartan goaltender Matt Allemang was stellar in net with 17 saves. Freshman midfielder Michael Austin was one of the few Bulls able to fire a shot past Allemang.
"Stone Cold Mike Austin" - as he's referred to by teammates - scored his first goal as a Bull with 8:51 left in the first quarter, which gave the Bulls their second goal and final lead of the evening.
"That was a high point for us," Crawford said. "Seeing a freshman get their first goal in a big game like that is always special, especially at the time it happened, giving us the lead."
Senior midfielder Anthony Ramat scored the Bulls' first goal of the game, which tied the game 1-1. It wasn't enough to spark the Bulls' offense, though, as they were outscored 6-1 in the second half after trailing 6-2 at halftime.
Buffalo's inexperience and the Spartans' familiarity on the field were evident in Saturday's blowout.
"They didn't make mistakes," Crawford said. "When you looked at the field, they had an experienced team that's been playing together for a while. We have several first-year players that might not have been prepared for how good of a team we were facing. We showed our inexperience tonight."
Buffalo's ability to compete against nationally ranked opponents will be challenged again Friday. Buffalo hosts No. 4 Boston College (5-2, 0-1 Pioneer Collegiate Lacrosse League) in its first conference game of the season. The Eagles are one of the Bulls' biggest rivals.
"[Next week against the Eagles] we need to play slower offense and have more patience, look for the better shot and not just the first shot we get a chance at," Crawford said. "We'll slow the game down in practice and work on possessing the ball, making easy plays and not force plays. That's where we hurt ourselves today."
The Bulls' next game against Boston College will be played at Kunz Field at 7:30 p.m. It will be their first home game of the season. The Bulls will also host Pittsburgh (3-3, 1-1 CCLA) on Sunday afternoon at noon.
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